Tuesday, July 19, 2022

IRS To Increase Criminal Investigation Division By 33%

The IRS intends to have 4,200 employees in its Criminal Investigation division by 2029, marking an increase of more than one-third from current levels and extending a post-pandemic hiring spree, the division's chief told a recent tax conference.

With the ranks of the Criminal Division (CI) now totaling about 3,100 employees, Chief Jim Lee said he expects it will take five to seven years to reach the staffing goal. He spoke July 15 at a conference sponsored by the University of San Diego School of Law and the firm RJS Law.

CI currently employs about 2,100 agents, along with 1,000 or so personnel in investigative analysis, information technology, and administrative jobs, according to Lee.

He said CI in fiscal year 2020 had about 330 personnel, which was a net gain of 140, with the following year bringing in some 350 new employees whose hiring represented a net gain of 70.

The CI chief also told the conference that his division analyzed 1,350 terabytes of data during fiscal year 2021, adding that, for perspective, 10 terabytes equals the printed collection in the Library of Congress.

In touting CI's success investigating and prosecuting fraud tied to the pandemic, Lee said the division has had a "100% conviction rate" since the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act, PL 116-136) was enacted two years ago. 

Agents have identified nearly $2 billion in COVID-related fraud, netting 300 indictments in 700 cases opened, he said.

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